Shower Won’t Turn off? Why It Happens & 6 Ways To Fix It

We’ve all experienced that feeling when you get in your bed after a relaxing shower and hear the shower faucet dripping, sometimes even for hours after turning it off.

Not only is it highly annoying, but a drippy shower faucet can also potentially cause water damage or increase your water bill in the best-case scenario.

That being said, let’s see what is causing your shower to drip and what methods you can use to ensure that the shower is turned off completely once you’re done using it.

Why your shower won’t turn off?

Before you call the plumbing repair, you could troubleshoot the shower yourself and try to find the cause of a dripping shower faucet, which could be easier to solve than you may think. 

1. Faulty shower valve

The first potential problem behind a shower that won’t turn off is a faulty shower valve. The role of the shower valve is to control the flow and temperature of the water, so if it is not functioning correctly, it may result in the shower continuing to run. 

The shower valve may be broken or clogged with mineral buildup. A clogged shower valve can often be fixed by removing and cleaning the valve, but a broken valve will likely need to be replaced.

2. Shower handle or shower knob issue

Another potential issue could be with the shower handle or shower knob. If the handle or knob is not aligned correctly or tightened, it may continue to turn without actually shutting off the water flow. 

It could also be that the shower handle or knob is clogged with debris or hard water buildup. In this case, it may need to be cleaned or replaced altogether.

3. Water pressure issue

Another possibility could be an issue with the water pressure. If the water pressure is too high, it may cause the shower to continue running even when the handle is turned off. 

This happens because the increased pressure causes the valve to not fully close. In this case, you may need to adjust the water pressure or replace the shower valve.

4. Showerhead issue

There may be an issue with the showerhead itself. It could be clogged with mineral deposits or debris, preventing proper shut off of water flow

This can often be fixed by simply removing and cleaning the showerhead. However, if the showerhead isn’t functioning, it could be time to replace it.

If you’re struggling with hard water, you will probably have to replace the showerhead more often than you’d like to, as the accumulated mineral buildup isn’t always easy to remove.

5. Faulty shower diverter valve

A shower diverter valve is responsible for controlling the flow of water to either the shower head or tub spout

If your shower won’t turn off, it could be a sign that your diverter valve is faulty and needs to be replaced

It’s essential to address this issue as soon as possible, as a faulty diverter valve can lead to water damage and excessive water waste. 

How to fix a shower that won’t turn off

Most of the problems mentioned in this guide can be solved with minimal to no experience and only with a few simple tools

Here are the best ways to ensure that your shower turns off entirely and that potential water damage is prevented. 

1. Fix or replace the shower valve

If the shower valve is clogged, you must clean it out using vinegar or a specific shower valve cleaning solution. However, if the valve is old or broken, it may need to be replaced entirely. 

Here are the steps to locate and replace a malfunctioning shower valve:

  1. Turn off the shower’s water supply at the main valve.
  2. Remove the handle and trim the shower valve with a screwdriver. 
  3. Take out the valve cartridge or stem and replace it with a new one.
  4. Reattach the trim and handle, then turn on the water supply.

2. Fix or replace the shower knob or handle

A shower knob or handle could be clogged with mineral deposits like other shower components

To clean it thoroughly,  remove the knob and soak it in a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water for at least an hour. 

Then, use a toothbrush or small scrub brush to remove any remaining deposits. Reattach the knob and test it to see if the issue is resolved. 

However, if they’re damaged, your best bet is to replace them as soon as possible. Here are the steps to replace your shower knob or handle:

  1. Turn off the shower’s water supply.
  2. Remove the old knob or handle by unscrewing it.
  3. Install the new knob or handle by screwing it in. Make sure it is adequately secured and tightened.
  4. Turn on the water supply; test the new knob or handle to ensure it’s working correctly.

3. Adjust the water pressure

To adjust the water pressure, try turning the knob on the shower head to the left until it stops. 

If this does not work, check to see if the water shut-off valve behind the shower is fully open. If it is already open, try turning it slightly in both directions to see if that fixes the issue. 

If not, the plumbing may be a problem. In that case, consider calling a professional for assistance. 

4. Fix or replace the showerhead

A clogged showerhead shouldn’t be too difficult to clean. All you need is some vinegar or CLR and a rag to wipe down the showerhead. 

Make sure to scrub off the remaining gunk using a brush, so the showerhead is free of buildup.

However, if the showerhead has endured years of mineral buildup, you will most probably need to replace it, and here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn off the shower’s water supply.
  2. Unscrew and remove the old showerhead.
  3. Replace with a new showerhead, making sure to screw it in tightly.
  4. Turn on the water supply and check for leaks. 

5. Check the shower diverter valve

In some cases, the shower diverter valve could be blocked, and you will need to clean it thoroughly to get the shower to shut off properly

To do so, turn off the water supply to the shower and remove the diverter valve. Use a toothbrush or small brush to clean any debris from the valve, then reassemble and turn on the water supply again. 

If this does not solve the issue, it could signify a more significant plumbing problem, and you may need to call a professional plumber.

Replacing the shower diverter valve shouldn’t be too much of a hassle either, and here’s how you can do it yourself:

  1. Shut off the water supply to the shower and remove the old diverter valve
  2. Install the new diverter valve and follow any instructions or diagrams included with it. 
  3. Turn on the water supply again and test out the new valve. Hiring a professional is probably best to ensure it is correctly installed if you run into any issues during this process.

6. Replace your old shower set

If you’ve had your shower set for years, it may be time to replace it. It may seem like a big job and a complicated task, but in reality, it shouldn’t be too hard (as long as you’re willing to do it yourself).

Here are the steps to remove your old shower set and install a brand-new one:

  1. Shut off the water supply to your shower by turning off the main valve or the shutoff valve near your shower set.
  2. Remove all the elements of the old shower set (knobs, handle, and trim) by unscrewing and taking them off.
  3. Install your new shower set, making sure to tighten all screws securely.
  4. Turn the water supply back on and check for leaks before using your shower.

If you’re not confident in doing this task yourself, it may be best to call a professional plumber to do the job for you. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to plumbing!

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